The end of the year is near, it’s time to escape all that chaos and unwind in a truly exotic place – preferably at a haven where no one knows where to find you and where mobile reception is practically non-existent.
1. Cubadak Paradiso Village, Padang, Indonesia
Forget the Maldives or Bali. For a truly exotic holiday that you can brag about to everyone, look no further than one of Indonesia’s 17,000 islands spread across this vast archipelago. Cubadak Paradiso Village certainly fits the bill as a ravishing Indonesian hidden paradise, yet is located just two hours away from Padang International Airport. The secluded island of Cubadak is a haven of tranquillity and peacefulness, thankfully removed from the daily grind of the hustle and bustle of city life. The island is uninhabited, except for a few isolated fishermen’s huts. Cubadak Paradiso Village is the only resort in the island consisting of 12 wooden bungalows. The bungalows and suite all face the sea, stretched along 1.5 kilometres of white sandy beach, giving you direct access to the riches of the seas off Cubadak, which is completely surrounded by superb coral reefs and numerous varieties of multicoloured reef fish. In addition, the island, located just a few miles off Sumatra, is wonderfully sheltered from strong waves, making water-based activities such as diving (PADI courses are available), snorkelling, water-skiing or wake-boarding truly to die for.
Cubadak Paradiso Village
Kab. Pesisir Selatan
West Sumatra – Indonesia
Phone. +62 812 6637 609
2. Kura Kura Resort, Karimunjawa Islands, Java, Indonesia
Set amid Karimunjawa Archipelago Marine National Park, Kura Kura Resort boasts an exclusive retreat surrounded by one of the largest lagoons in the area and 22 hectares of tropical paradise. The private island of Menyawakan is home to the resort, the only resort there. You can expect pristine white sandy beaches fringed with palm trees and the amazing colours of the sea. Diving is the most popular recreational activity here, although there are many others for the adventurer and families such as Robinson Crusoe trips, which drop guests to one of the deserted islands for a day to explore, and daily diving and snorkelling trips to the best coral reefs around Karimunjawa Islands. To get to Kura Kura Resort, the primary mode of access will be on a private air charter provided by the resort. From the city of Semarang, the 40-minute flight will land you in Karimunjawa; you will then be whisked on a speedboat to the resort. The resort can also arrange a private overland transfer.
Kura Kura Resort
Central Java – Indonesia
Phone. +62 24 766 325 10
3. Pulau Pangkil Kecil, Riau Islands Archipelago, Indonesia
Pulau Pangkil Kecil (Little Pangkil Island) is a delightful little island located close to Singapore in Indonesia. To stay on this paradise on earth may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and unforgettable memory – as the whole island is available to rent! Pangkil the island and Pangkil the resort are one and the same. When you rent the whole island of Pangkil you get all the bells and whistles that come with the island: all the Driftwood Palaces (its accommodation), the bar, the sound systems, the pool, kayaks, snorkeling equipment, speedboats, kitchen and an ensemble of more than 20 staff. This could be your very own version of Survivor – but with maids and butlers, of course. Pangkil offers nine elegant, detached Driftwood Palaces, all of which have unobstructed sea views. None are more than five paces away from the beach.
Pulau Pangkil Kecil
Kelong, Air Gelubi,
Kepulauan Riau – Indonesia
4. Misool Eco Resort, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Think you’ve seen paradise? Think again. Raja Ampat, located in the northwestern tip of Indonesia’s Papuan “Bird’s Head Seascape,” is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, which lies in the heart of the coral triangle, the most bio-diverse marine region on earth. Misool Eco Resort, an environmentally-friendly and exclusive dive resort and conservation centre, is located in the private resort island of Batbitim. The island and the resort’s scuba dive sites are surrounded by its very own 1,220 square kilometre “No-Take Zone”, or a 400 square kilometre area of its sea in which all fishing, shark finning, harvesting of turtle eggs and shellfish are strictly prohibited. Needless to say, scuba diving is the resort’s most popular attraction, with the Dive Centre designed to meet the needs not only of divers, but also professional videographers and photographers.
Misool Eco Resort
Raja Ampat Regency,
West Papua – Indonesia
5. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Vietnam
For those of you savvy urbanites with a penchant for creature comforts, the first Sofitel Legend is perfect for you. This historic heavyweight has been around since 1901, and, like any true lady, has become even more graceful and alluring with her 110 years of Metropole history. In 2009, the hotel became the first in the Sofitel luxury hotel chain’s portfolio to acquire the distinction of the ‘Legend’ hotel branding. Since then, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has easily taken the crown as Vietnam’s Grand Dame and as one of Southeast Asia’s most iconic hotels. Its historic Metropole Wing features suites named after Charlie Chaplin, Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene, each of whom stayed at the Metropole during his time in colonial Indochina.
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Vietnam
15 Ngo Quyen, Hoan Kiem
10000 Hanoi – Vietnam
Phone. +84 24 3826 6919
Text by Arvada Haradiran | Photos courtesy of each property